If I hear “Tell me why I should be a member” one more time…  Well, I still don’t know what I’ll say; but, I know what I’d like to say. It would go something like this:

If I have to tell you why you should be a member of any organization, I’d just be wasting my time. It’s like trying to tell you, if you already have 10 kids and want to know if I think you should have one more, as a great idea. I won’t convince you on way or the other, regardless of the stance I take. It has to be within you to have one more. That kind of a decision doesn’t come from outside of you to be convinced… It comes from within.

I can’t count how many times I’ve answered that question. What I can tell you is that it’s only been once, as many times as I’ve answered it, that one family said to me… “Wow, you really convinced me. Let me sign up today!” The ironic part to this story is that it happened right after I decided to not get into the “pitching process” anymore. I was asked to join a Lodi Petite Sirah tasting for newly released Petites. I hadn’t excepted to be called upon to speak on behalf of Petite Sirah, but I certainly can when called upon. I went to this event as a media person.

So, I deferred to Jose as the spokesperson, having already given up on the process. So while having lunch, Dennis and Diane DeCosta of DeCosta Family Vineyards were at our table, and I still just couldn’t bring myself to “pitch” PS I Love You when queried. Jose took over, and I just let it be. I felt it was futile; however, the DeCosta’s sent in a check as a growers, and restored my sense that there are some people who do get marketing. For them, I’m grateful.

I’ve spent a couple thousand hours studying marketing (between classes, home work assignments, and having to write research reports), and 30 years of practicing marketing. How can I possibly condense all of that that down to 500 words or less to convince someone of the value of collective marketing?

So, I won’t be answering that question in the future… Nope, I’m done with that… Well over it, because it’s futile.

Instead, I’ll simply turn the tables and as a question back to that person, like, “Why do you think you should be a member?” Or “What do you think about group marketing?”

Member profile is someone who understands:

  • Brand marketing for your own company
  • Group marketing, which increases knowledge of your own target market at an unprecedented rate, thereby speeding sales along
  • Membership links you to a common good and offers increased opportunities to expand your brand
  • It’s a tax write off, because you’re contributing to a charity within your own special interest, if you’re joining a non-profit, like the Chamber of Commerce
  • Think of it as advertising, because you are

Benefits received:

  • Added to a website, where people go for more information… You become an influencer
  • Included in social media campaigns
  • Receiving occasional PR/Marketing opportunities, as they’re presented from the outside world
  • Included in press releases
  • Participating in events

These reasons haven’t been good enough for anyone, yet… except the existing members of the group of people who join the group, because they’re marketing savvy.. I can guarantee that somewhere along the way, someone studied marketing.

I once had a boss who hated that she inherited me. She saw no use for PR and marketing. She did let me stay on for eight more months, as a volunteer, so I could complete projects that had begun, including a scholarship that I had set up for immigrants and refugees through a university system. Then four months after I was gone, she called me to see if I’d recommend someone that she needed to replace all that I had done. I just blinked my eyes…

Somehow, the people I’ve mentioned above who want me to convince them of marketing in 500 words or less, and this person who hated that PR didn’t being immediate and provable money to her daily coffers, are one-in-the-same.

If you don’t get it, I won’t be the one to convince you… But, time will prove to you that you needed to do something to play a better game.